National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

If It Walks Like A Duck

 |  NCR Today

All the bread of good faith that American sisters have offered Francis has been returned with a stone.

The Pope won't reconsider the indictment against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. He might have decided to hear arguments again, but he hasn't. The coerced outcome may be somewhat different, but the appeal on the charges is lost.

It's likely we'll hear many attempts to find glimmers of hope. There will be a renewal of calls for further talks and reports of cordial treatment by Vatican officials.

NCR-issue-christmas-icon.jpgGive a Christmas gift that lasts all year. Give the gift of NCR!

Perhaps talks will ensue, but unless the sisters adopt a more challenging strategy, the discussion will be confined to "how" discipline will be administered rather that "whether." A more benign chastisement is still chatisement.

The problem is false hope that anything of substance will change on the Vatican's side. And from Rome's point of view why should it? Either LCWR did go against the grain of papal pronouncements or it didn't. Benedict and Francis say it did and they have a reasonable case. The sisters can either agree without apology, as valid theology with which most American Catholics concur, or disagree with solid reasons. A third option has gained ground too: keep on walking a fine line, ministering lovingly and justly without promoting dissenting theology, in the expectation that history will vindicate that theology. 

But Rome isn't going to do more than reiterate the charges. Popes don't contradict one another.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts